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Until April 6, 2017 in Ohio, a first misdemeanor operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs – OVI charge will fall into one of the following categories:
- Operating Under the Influence (OVI) – this offense will be charged as a First Degree Misdemeanor with penalties ranging from 3-180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1075.
- Operating with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 to < .17 or controlled substance over the limit – this offense will be charged as a First Degree Misdemeanor with penalties ranging from 3-180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1075.
- Operating with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of >.17 – this offense will be charged as a First Degree Misdemeanor with penalties ranging from 6-180 days in jail and a fine up to $1075.
- Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence (OVI) and refusal of chemical test with prior in 20 years – this offense will be charged as a First Degree Misdemeanor with penalties ranging from 6-180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1075.
Multiple charges for an OVI arrest
It is common for the police to charge both an under the influence charge and one of the other charges for testing over the limit of .08, testing over the high-tier limit of .17, or refusing a blood, breath, or urine test after an arrest for OVI and having a prior OVI conviction date within 20 years of the new arrest date. You can be convicted of both offenses, but you will only be sentenced to one.
If we are able to suppress the evidence of your breath test you will still have to beat the under the influence charge at trial. This charge is based on the officer’s training, observation, and experience. Police will testify about your driving, physical appearance, smell of alcohol on your breath, admission of drinking, time of day or night, where you were coming from, performance on field sobriety tests.
What happens after an OVI arrest?
If arrested you can expect to be taken to jail if the police cannot find a sober adult to release you to. You will often have a court date the following day, unless it falls on a Sunday. Bond will be set after you talk to the judge at arraignment, which is your first court appearance. It is a good idea to say not guilty to the charges and ask for a lawyer. Do not tell the judge any of the facts of your case. Save that for your lawyer. If you are released you will be given an arraignment date within five (5) business days of your arrest.
Any sentence upon conviction could include the opportunity to do three (3) days in a driver intervention program in lieu of jail. In Ohio an OVI is a misdemeanor and NOT a felony, so any jail time would be served in the county jail where you are convicted and not a prison.
Call us at Suhre & Associates, LLC (937) 531-0435 to learn more about OVI charges and penalties.
About Robert Healey, Attorney at Law
Rob’s legal career has focused on DUI/OVI defense where he has defended clients throughout Southwest Ohio and Northern KY, including the Cincinnati, and Dayton area. Rob is currently the Managing Attorney at the Dayton Office, where he defends clients throughout the State of Ohio. His education and legal training allows him to provide aggressive DUI and OVI defense for all his clients. He has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers in 2015, 2016, and 2017 a rare accolade given to less than 2.5% of lawyers. He also has merited the Avvo.com Client’s Choice Award from 2012-2017.